I came, I posed, I sweated.

I successfully completed my first Bikram class.  All 90 hot and sweaty minutes.  The instructor told me my only goal as a Bikram first-timer was to stay in the room for the entire session.  That made me a bit apprehensive, but I went on in.

It was hot.  I was nervous, but stubbornly determined.  The instructor walked in and announced there was a first timer and announced my name and asked some students to volunteer to move in front of me so I could watch them.  Not quite the subtle ‘oh don’t notice me’ vibe I was going for.  Nice.

The opening breathing exercises were very odd and didn’t seem natural to me at all.  I did them, but got even more worried about what the next 80ish minutes would entail.  Thankfully the rest of the poses were somewhat familiar.  I could do most of the poses in their basic form, which was encouraging.  There were some folks in the class who were clearly advanced and doing very impressive expressions of the poses.  Not me.  I was just praying not to fall too much.

Overall, it was a good workout, but I didn’t find it life changing.  Some of the Bikram fans seem almost cult-like in their devotion, so I was curiously wondering if I would leave the class on some sort of high.  I really just left hot.  It felt like a nice work out and I am mildly sore in my obliques and hamstrings today, but I’ve felt more excited and pumped up after an Insanity workout.

I have 9 more classes on my 10 card class (shout out to Groupon for making this possible), and I intend on going several more times.  There is still more time to convert me…..and to give me this physique….


Just how hot is Hot Yoga?

Greeting you with my bare face on this Friday morning.  That’ll wake you up!

I just wanted to preserve my image this morning, in case I don’t make it.  You see, I’m off to my very first Bikram Yoga class today.  Bikram Yoga – where you practice yoga in a 100 degree room.  For 90 long minutes.  I’m really nervous and wondering if I’ll make it through the first 10 minutes, much less the whole 90 minute.  Yes, I do live in Texas and am no stranger to heat, but I don’t typically spend an hour and a half in the heat unless there is a swimming pool involved.

Any Bikram fans out there?

What I Ate Wednesday

This weekly installment of our daily eats isn’t quite as exciting as the Valentine’s Day or Snow Day versions.  Today was a pretty normal Wednesday, no holidays or frozen precipitation to celebrate.

I started my day at 4 am for no particular reason, just unable to sleep.  I snuck downstairs and watched last week’s Glee.  If I can’t be sleeping, watching Glee isn’t a bad 2nd alternative.  🙂

Once the munchkins awoke we started our morning.  I had a slice of Rustic Banana Oat Cake from Oh She Glows (I left out the chocolate chips and didn’t do the glaze).

The boy had Banana Cake, apples, frozen blueberries and frozen peaches.  The girl didn’t like the cake, so she had toast with jelly, apples, frozen blueberries and frozen peaches.

Wednesday is a preschool day, so I packed their lunches.  This is a recycled photo, but my kids eat pretty much the same lunch each preschool day.  The girl likes cheese + tortillas, while the boy likes pb&j.

We got in the car and I had a driving snack of hot lemon water and some cut up veggies (in my super fancy kid’s plastic cup).

I dropped off the kids and skipped happily to the car and headed to Starbucks for my third round of breakfast.  China Green Tips tea and an orange, enjoyed while catching up on Facebook and then doing some Bible Study.  Facebook and the Good Book.  That’s how I roll.

After a fantastic and much needed yoga class, I dropped by the store for bananas and came out $30 later with more than bananas.  Including a little treat for myself, Kombucha.

I started to make my salad and when it came time for the lime juice, I had to head to the study to pick a lime of the ‘fruit cart’ that my daughter assembled last night.  See the black scarf?  She uses it to pull the fruit cart around the house, dropping oranges in her trail.  If you come over in a few weeks and find a moldy orange behind a bookshelf, you’ll know why.

See that blue paper contraption?

Want a closer look?  It is an ocean for Ariel (aka The Little Mermaid).

Gratuitous Construction Paper Cleavage Shot…..

Back to the salad.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Or the blue construction paper sea.  🙂

I had one of my favorite salad combinations and caught up on laundry folding while catching up on a November episode of The Good Wife (I’m really behind).  My kind of multitasking – laundry and tv.

field greens + avocado + cilantro + lime juice+ macadamia oil+ hemp seeds

I was still a little hungry, so I had my second lunch of the day while gazing at the folded laundry and enjoying the quiet.

1/2 a frozen pizza – sometimes I eat like a rabbit, other times like a teenage boy

As with most Wednesdays, my 5 hours of kid-free time goes by in what feels like 20 minutes.  I picked up my munchkins and came home to start the afternoon routine.

The kids had snacks, complete with oranges picked off the fruit cart.

banana cake + cara cara oranges + tortilla + avocado triscuits

For dinner we had some crockpot lentil soup, Coscto sourdough bread and fruit.  Because it was a long afternoon with some cranky kids, I enjoyed my lentils with a nice Malbec.  No offense to the soup, but I enjoyed the wine the most.

How was your Wednesday?

Linking up with Peas and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday.

Cookie Dough Oatmeal (Vegan)

Another quote from a great 90s sitcom to follow-up the Seinfeld quote from Monday:

Ross: It tastes like feet!
Joey Tribbiani: Well, I like it.
Ross: Are you kidding?
Joey Tribbiani: I mean, what’s not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good!
(from Friends Thanksgiving episode in 1999, Ross and Joey talking about Rachel’s meat trifle)

Oatmeal, good.
Cookie dough, good
Together?  Good.
What’s not to like?
This recipe started with my version of the Cookie Dough Dip from Peas and Thank You.

Cookie Dough Topping

(inspired by Peas and Thank You)

  • 1 c. raw cashews
  • 2 T. almond butter
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T agave
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 T. almond milk
  • 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
  1. Combine cashews, almond butter, maple syrup, agave, nutritional yeast, salt and vanilla in a blender or food processor and blend to combine.
  2. Add almond milk slowly, until the mixture reaches a peanut butter like consistency.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.

This recipe would also be good with peanut butter in place of the almond butter, that is if you like peanut butter cookie dough.  Mmmmmm.

I made it one night, planning on using it for a dip.  The next morning, however, as I looked at my very plain bowl of steel cut oats, I felt inspired to go a little crazy.  Don’t tell me my life isn’t exciting.
Oatmeal, meet faux cookie dough.  They liked each other a lot.  They may have even gotten a room.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever used as an oatmeal topping?



Butternut Squash and Coconut Bisque

What is the difference between soup and bisque?   Anyone?  Bisque always makes me think of Seinfeld:

George Costanza: You don’t think she’d yada yada sex?
Elaine: [raising hand] I’ve yada yada’ed sex.
George Costanza: Really?
Elaine: Yeah. I met this lawyer, we went out to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, yada yada yada, I never heard from him again.
Jerry: But you yada yada’d over the best part.
Elaine: No, I mentioned the bisque.

I don’t know if this bisque is better than, well, you know, but it is quite tasty and very simple.  And crustacean free.

Butternut Squash and Coconut Bisque

  • 2 c chopped butternut squash
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 15oz can (ish) vegetable broth
  • grapeseed oil for sauteing
  1. Saute onion and garlic in oil until fragrant.  Stir in ginger and a dash of salt.  Add butternut squash, coconut milk and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until squash is soft.
  3. Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender (my choice), blend soup until smooth.  Add salt to taste.
  4. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!

Great leftover, too, especially with Kombucha!

Any other Seinfeld fans out there?



Kale – What’s Your Beef With Me?

First there was the kale smoothie blender accident.  I assumed it was all my fault.  Seriously, anyone distracted enough to push down something into a moving blender has no one to blame but themselves if they get injured in the act.  Don’t get me wrong, I tried my hardest to find some way to put the blame on my kids, husband and/or the blender.  I tried, but ended up placing the blame on myself.  Until yesterday….

I was having a nice Wednesday afternoon and decided to make another batch of kale chips.  I had washed and trimmed the kale and put it into (my very favorite) glass mixing bowl. As I turned to walk towards the counter, I slipped on some water on the floor, completely lost my footing and slammed my bowl and head into the cabinet as I fell hard onto my knees.  The bowl shattered, sending glass flying all over the tile floor. I froze for a second, reached up to see if my head was bleeding (only a little) and looked down to see blood pouring out of my thumb and forefinger.  I started to get woozy  and try to think rationally about what to do next.  My two year old came running and I yelled for him to stop so he and his cute little bare feet wouldn’t come any closer to the glass shards.  He started to get upset because I yelled and, calling on all my mama strength, I changed the tone of my voice and told him that mama had a big ouch and there was sharp glass all over the floor and could he please go back into the living room (all the while trying to take deep breaths and not freak out at the blood).

Side note – I don’t do blood well.  At all.  I tried to give blood once and literally passed out when they pricked my finger for the initial blood test.  I also passed out at the doctor’s office during a pregnancy blood draw and earned myself the distinction of doing all my other blood draws (there are LOTS during pregnancy) in the children’s lab work room, complete with cartoon characters and balloons, so I could lay down on the couch in there and stare at Dora instead of the lab tech and needle and vial.

I grabbed a clean towel and wrapped it tightly around my hand,  shuffled the kids into the living room, put on a cartoon (thank you DVR) and laid down until the ‘I’m about to pass out’ feeling’ subsided.

I psyched myself up, went upstairs alone and faced the wounds.  There were two bad ones, but the skin was starting to move back together, so I didn’t think an Urgent Care visit was needed.  I had fresh Hydrogen Peroxide and Neosporin, thanks to our Valentine’s night trip to CVS after the kid’s tooth-meets-forehead incident.  There was a good inch long gash on my right thumb (which has made texting rather impossible) and a 1 cm cut on my forefinger that were both rather messy.  I had about 5 other small cuts on the right hand too, as well as a cut on my calf and elbow.  When I get hurt, I like to go all out.  Come strong or don’t come at all.

I bandaged up, came back downstairs to the kids and decided my mothering for the day was over.  In went a movie for the kids and I crashed on the couch with a book.  The kids were in heaven, as movies are typically only watched on Friday nights.  They kinda liked Injured Mama as it meant 2.5 hours of television.  Let’s hope they don’t start deliberately spilling water on the kitchen floor.

So, two really painful and bloody incidents in 6 months, both involving kale.  Coincidence?  Or something more sinister?

What the hale, Kale?

I finally got around to making a batch of kale chips last night and ate them all with my bandaged fingers today.  Take that kale.

Sweet Potato Cashew Kale Chips

Inspired by the Sweet Potato Cashew Cheese from Choosing Raw

1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp miso
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
3/4-1 c water

Add cashews, salt, miso, nutritional yeast and lemon juice to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Add sweet potato and blend to smooth.  Add water and blend.

Mix sauce with 1 head of kale, washed and torn, in a mixing bowl (maybe use plastic bowl 🙂 ).

When kale is coated, spread onto dehydrator trays.

Dehydrate at 110 for 2-3 hours, or until desired crispness is reached.

Notice I’m using my good hand.

Love Food (Valentine’s Day Eats)

As I mentioned on Monday, Valentine’s Day has become a much more enjoyable holiday now that I make it about loving on my family and less about the romance.  Nothing against romance, but I prefer romantic gestures to be on less commercialized days.

This is our 4th year of doing a pink and red dinner, but I decided to make this year’s whole day of meals festive.  If you keep reading, you’ll see how we ended the day with a new and unexpected red addition….

Lest I get further ahead of myself, we’ll start the day’s recap…

The husband was supposed to leave really early for a conference call, but got a nice Valentine’s Day surprise of a dead car battery.  No amount of muttering and attempted battery jumping worked, so he shut himself in our bedroom and took the 2 hour call at home.  All this to say, he didn’t get to participate in the special breakfast.

I prepared a Valentine’s Day themed morning meal:

Blueberry muffins from a box (the second appearance in 2 weeks and the last until a birthday) + strawberry yogurt with red sprinkles + whipped cream with sprinkles + strawberries + pink lemonade and sparkling water

My little valentines viewing the breakfast table:

Twirly Straws make everything better.

I had a less festive but no less delicious breakfast of vegan cookie dough oatmeal (recipe coming soon).

I packed my daughter’s lunch for preschool.

cheese tortillas + fruits and vegetables

The preschool class was all abuzz with Valentine’s Day excitement.  It was really sweet.  Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but it was also pajama day, which is adorably exciting to the kids.  Pajamas?  To School?  So funny for 4 and 5 year olds.

My little guy and I came back home, picked up the husband and drove him to work.  After dropping him off, we drove to the gym and I got to enjoy a run with some new music – thanks for the suggestions!  We came back home and had some snacks.

He had a cookie.

I had a redish-green smoothie.

Purple Kale + Strawberries + Raspberries + 1/2 frozen banana + water

We played for a bit and enjoyed some Love Day themed Dora the Explorer.  That show is starting to get old after 2.5 years of watching it, but it is his current favorite and he only gets to watch when his sister isn’t around, so sat beside him, tuned out the strange yelling-instead-of-talking of Dora and played Scrabble on my iPod while he enjoyed the show.

We had some lunch.

PB&J + vegetables

Non-festive Butternut  Squash and Coconut soup (recipe to come) and Kombucha

Upon arrival home from preschool, there was an immediate dumping out of the school valentine’s day bag.  All cards and sweets were thoroughly inspected.  They each got to eat one.  The girl chose a hershey kiss, the boy chose a sucker.  I, however, chose kale chips.

When dinner time finally arrived, we welcomed over some family friends and had our 4th Annual Pink and Red Dinner.  For the fourth year in a row we had Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce (which is almost pink).  New to the table this year was some Valentine’s Day Cheese Ravioli that we found at Costco.  It was pretty good.  I also set out some jarred tomato sauce.

We had red produce: cherry tomatoes, strawberries and red peppers.

And our traditional heart shaped focaccia bread.

As for the new addition to this year’s dinner….

During a rambunctious game of chase (is there any other kind?) in the house (bad idea 1) with overly excited kids (bad idea 2), there was a collision involving my daughter’s tooth and my son’s forehead.  So, the new red addition to our dinner was blood, generously provided by both kids.

After some TLC, a failed attempt to go to Urgent Care (which was jam packed), a quick trip to CVS for some first aid supplies and some ice packs, we patched him up.  He seems no worse for the wear, but may sport a little scar to always remind him and us of Valentine’s Day 2011.

Hope your Valentine’s was equally as exciting, but without the head injury.  🙂

linking up with Peas and Crayons….